Overtime pay has been approved for six Master of the Supreme Court offices across the country in a bid to address the backlogs which were worsened by the recent ransomware attack on the Justice Department’s information and communication technology systems.

Justice & Correctional Services Minister Ronald Lamola wrote this in a parliamentary response to the DA’s Justice & Constitutional Development spokesperson, Glynnis Breytenbach.

A Cape Argus report says she had written to the Minister to ask for the details of the steps his department was taking to attend to the backlog of matters at the Masters offices.

Lamola said it was difficult to ascertain the exact backlog because many of the clients were walk-ins who could not be assisted when the systems were down, but that since the systems were restored, officials were doing their utmost to assist them.

Lamola said that as a result of the biometric fingerprint facility being unavailable, first-time and final inheritances could, however, be processed again only from 15 November, when the new fingerprint verification server was restored.

Answering the Minister, Breytenbach said: ‘The situation at the Masters offices around the country, perhaps with very few exceptions, is intolerable. The backlog is never reduced, it just continues to grow.’

Full Cape Argus report